By 2024, South Korea is projected to be one of the eight ultra-aged community, standing shoulder to shoulder with countries like Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, France. The other countries most likely to join this list are the United Kingdom and Canada.
According to United Nations reports, a country is said to be ultra –aged when the elderly population of the country hits 20% or more of the country’s total population. As announced by South Korean Ministry of Interior and Safety, the percentage of the senior citizens, aged 60 or over has reached 15.8% in March 2020.
If observed at a surface level and based upon its historical age growth charts, Korea is to be an ultra – aged country by the year 2026, Calculations however are skewed as a larger number of the population are within the age group that are approaching aged citizens as seen in the steep rise of numbers in the month of July during the year 2017. Based on the data, it is estimated that South Korea would become an ultra –aged country by the year 2024.
South Korea has seen a steep rise of the seniors of South Korea of about 0.5%, i.e., from 14.4% to 14.9% from a period of March 2018 to March 2019. And therefore according to the resident registration data which is held by the Interior Ministry, stated that there is expected to be a jump of the figure by a percentage of 0.9, i.e., by 14.9% to 15.8% in the following year, March 2020.
South Korea records the world’s lowest fertility rates and has the fastest growth of aged groups, thereby registering a high number of senior citizens in comparison to other nations. Based upon the statistics of South Korea, a researcher stated that there is even a chance of South Korea becoming an ultra-aged country as early as 2023, which is faster by three years compared to its earlier prediction.
Japan was the first country to be inducted into the list of ultra-aged countries, it had already been classified as an ultra-aged country in the year 2006. Japan is followed by Italy which made the list in 2008, later by Germany in 2009, Sweden in 2017 and by France in 2018.
South Korea is now in the running with Canada and the United Kingdom to occupy the sixth position of the world’s ultra-aged country. In contrast, the US and China are only expected to join the group of ultra-aged countries by the late 2020s and early 2030s.